NONPARTISAN CANDIDATE GUIDE: 2018 NORTH DAKOTA SENATOR’S RACE

Kevin Cramer (R)
Kevin Cramer (R)
Heidi Heitkamp (D – Incumbent)
Heidi Heitkamp (D – Incumbent)

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included Votesmart.org, OntheIssues.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see Vote411.org from the League of Women Voters and Ballotready.org. For more detailed information visit their votesmart.org pages.

To volunteer, visit kevincramer.org and heidifornorthdakota.com. To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.


Abortion: Mostly ban or mostly legal?

Cramer – Ban. Forty years ago, the United States Supreme Court sanctioned abortion on demand. & we wonder why our culture sees school shootings so often.

Heitkamp – Mostly legal. “Reproductive decisions should be left to a woman, her family, & her doctor.” But opposes public funding & supports state’s right to mandate parental consent for minors & to restrict partial-birth abortions.

 

Campaign Finance: Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?

Cramer – No. Disclosure individual contributions, but “what other organizations, liberal & conservative, do to promote their beliefs is up to them.”

Heitkamp – Yes. Sponsored 2018 DISCLOSE Act. “North Dakotans deserve to know who’s trying to influence our elections.”

 

Campaign Finance: Support Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations & unions?

Cramer – Yes.

Heitkamp – No. Reverse by constitutional amendment. “Billionaires who couldn’t pick out North Dakota on a map shouldn’t have more” electoral sway “than hard-working North Dakotans.”

 

Climate Change: Consider climate change a serious threat?

Cramer – No. Considered prominent skeptic. Has called climate change a religious belief.

Heitkamp – Yes. Voted for the amendment saying climate change was real & serious.

 

Climate Change: Limit or tax production of greenhouse gases? Support US participation in Paris Climate Accord despite President Trump’s withdrawal?

Cramer – No. Roll back automotive fuel standards. Called EPA greenhouse gas regulations “arbitrary & capricious.”  Paris Accord was a terrible agreement.

Heitkamp – Mixed. Criticized Obama Clean Power Act, pushed for carbon sequestration research so could keep using coal & gas. Supported Paris Accord participation.

 

Contraception: Allow employers to withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if disagree with it morally?

Cramer – Yes. Requiring contraceptive coverage infringes upon religious freedoms.

Heitkamp – No. Keep ACA requirement that insurance plans provide non-copay contraception.

 

Courts: Support President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh?

Cramer – Yes. A great nominee. Supports states rights against federal overreach. Even if Ford allegations true, 36 years ago, so not sure it disqualifies Kavanaugh.

Heitkamp – No. Would have confirmed, but “deeply disturbed by…lack of judicial temperament & impartiality,” including his angry response when asked about drinking. Also influenced by experience dealing with sexual assault victims.

 

Economy: Support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?

Cramer – No. Opposed stimulus investment. Some support for infrastructure.

Heitkamp – Yes. Supports strong infrastructure spending for areas like roads. But also concerns about the deficit, feels both parties have ducked the issue.

 

Economy: Support President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

Cramer – “I would prefer a more measured approach.” But they are “the one tool [Trump] has,” so support them & present a united front for negotiations.

Heitkamp – No. They “severely limit our ability to build the international support need to keep China in check.” Retaliatory actions will hurt North Dakota.

 

Education: Provide vouchers to parents to send their children to private schools with public money?

Cramer – Yes. Supports DC voucher program & charter schools.

Heitkamp – No. Opposed Betsy DeVos’s “preference for private schools and… taking public funds away from public schools.”

 

Financial Regulation: Support reining in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

Cramer – Yes. Considered it regulatory overreach.

Heitkamp – Eased financial regulations for smaller banks, but opposes further easing rules.

 

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Cramer – No. “Marriage is defined in Scripture.” Supreme Court ruling was “another example of activist judges overstepping their authority.”

Heitkamp – Yes. “The federal government should no longer discriminate against… or interfere in personal, private, & intimate relationships.”

 

Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation?

Cramer – No.

Heitkamp – No.

 

Healthcare: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare?

Cramer – Full repeal. An insult to the Constitution & the conscience.” Would require covering patients with pre-existing conditions but let insurance companies charge more for them.

Heitkamp – Support, but improve. “Everyone should have access to affordable, quality care,” whatever pre-existing conditions. North Dakota families need the same quality care that helped her beat breast cancer.

 

Healthcare: Let Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion health care?

Cramer – No. Co-sponsored bill to defund.

Heitkamp – Yes. Voted against numerous bills aimed at defunding.

 

Immigration: Support path to citizenship for “DACA” recipients or “Dreamers,” who grew up in the US after being brought here as children?

Cramer – No. DACA was “unlawfully put together.” Recipients must return to home country before applying for citizenship.

Heitkamp – Yes, with conditions. Voted for several bills coupling with border security increase, & in one case with restrictions on legal immigration.

 

Iran: End treaty limiting Iran’s nuclear capability for lifting economic sanctions?

Cramer – Yes.

Heitkamp – No.

 

Marijuana: Support ND ballot Measure 3 that would legalize adult recreational use.

Cramer – No. Plans to vote against it: “We don’t need any more mind-altering substances on the market.”

Heitkamp – Up to voters, some concerns on access by children. Urged administration to respect North Dakota’s medical law.

 

Minimum Wage: Raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25/hr?

Cramer – No. Reducing regulations is a better way to improve job opportunities.

Heitkamp – Yes. Co-sponsored 2014 bill to raise to $10.10/hr.

 

Net Neutrality: Support Net Neutrality rules requiring equal access to all users?

Cramer – Praised FCC ruling ending Obama Net Neutrality rules. Said other ways to protect the internet.

Heitkamp – Yes. Strong supporter. Voted to reverse FCC repeal of net neutrality.

 

President Trump: Percentage of key votes  (as of September 2018) supporting Trump’s positions while in office?

Cramer – Early & vocal supporter: Voted with Trump 99% of time.

Heitkamp – Mixed support & opposition: 55% of time. “I don’t think either party has all the right answers.”

 

Privatization: Support full or partial privatization of Social Security?

Cramer – Yes. Advocate for private sector options.

Heitkamp – No. Opposes.

 

Renewable Energy: Support government subsidies for renewable energy?

Cramer – No. Incentivize US fuel production. Let green energy tax credits & deductions lapse.

Heitkamp – Advocates an all-of-the-above approach that includes tax incentives for renewables, particularly wind power.

 

Student debt: Refinance student loans at lower rates, paid for by increasing taxes on high earners?

Cramer – Rejected this approach. Favored tying to interest rates. Supported end to student loan interest deduction.

Heitkamp – Yes. Introduced related bill. Challenged Dept of Education possibly revoking public service loan forgiveness.

 

Taxes: Support President Trump’s tax cuts?

Cramer – Yes. They were “the best Christmas gift Washington [could] give.”

Heitkamp – No. Will add $1.5 trillion to national debt & provide no real relief for middle-class families or small businesses.

 

Voting Rights: Support stricter voting rules like voter ID requirements even if prevent some people from voting?

Cramer – Unknown. When asked about ND voting laws, deferred to state Republican Party for comment.

Heitkamp – No. Has criticized unnecessary voter ID laws in ND that “clearly target” Native Americans & students.